Information on Insects Needed
Robert L. Furniss, Portland, Ore.
To help growers to recognize and control insects, Dr. John D. Lattin of Oregon State University and I are preparing an Agricultural Experiment Station bulletin on insects that feed on rhododendron. The focus is on western species, but we hope to include all species known to feed on this genus of plants in North America. Such a bulletin is among the needs of ARS as listed by President Brockenbrough (Quarterly. Bull. 32 (3): p 174). There will be a nominal purchase charge.
Compared with many other ornamentals, rhododendrons and azaleas are relatively pest-free. So far, we have listed 85 species of insects and mites that occur on rhododendron. Most of them are innocuous. A dozen or so rate as significant, but not highly destructive pests. They are the ones that growers should recognize and guard against. They will be featured in the bulletin.
Information regarding insects on rhododendron has been accumulating since the early days of the Society (Breakey, Rhododendron Information, 1967, pp 185-198). In the Pacific Northwest, interest was accelerated in 1971 by the survey of the Portland Chapter that revealed the obscure root weevil to be the most abundant weevil on rhododendron. The insect bulletin project got underway early in 1978. Publication is targeted for 1980. To meet this deadline, we need help from members of ARS.
Home gardeners, commercial growers, anyone interested in rhododendrons can help by reporting insect activity and by providing insect specimens and examples of damage. The insects are needed to verify species and to determine their distribution. All kinds of insects are of interest. Our greatest need is for information concerning mites, whiteflies, aphids, and scales; also insects of any kind in greenhouses. To be most useful, reports and specimens should be received early in 1979.